Process of unknown becoming known

What is this strange attraction to unknown languages? I can't figure out why I love to hear conversations in languages that I can't understand.

It all starts with the musicality of a language. As I hear the natives talk, I feel the ease, passion and love that comes out.
The inflections, intonations and expressions entice me into the new world, making me read pages and pages on Wikipedia - history of the language, it's phonetics, morphology, semantics and so on. I don't want to dwell much into this aspect of the language, I move on to cultural, social and historical progress of the people themselves.

This comes from the fact that I have majored in one the ancient languages of the world - Sanskrit. Innumerable books have been written on the rich heritage and socio impact that this sanskrit has had over Southeast Asia. From young age I have been taught that sanskrit is superior to all languages. Deep down I still want to believe that. But that does not mean that other la…

I so want to write this

SO - such a small word yet it conveys a lot especially to the kids today. Words like quite, very, extremely and really are replaced by the single most powerful word ' SO '.

Sometime in 1996-97 I went to Calcutta to attend my friend's wedding. I was staying at my uncle's place who is a stickler for correct English among other things. He still types out emails like letters
Dear so-'n-so... Comma.... Next line... Maybe an indent... No unnecessary abbreviations... Proper capitalization... 2-3 paras ending with yours affly sorry affectionately... Anyway, my first lesson on 'SO' was from him. He asked how the wedding was. And I said with great enthusiasm, "it was so beautiful". He added, "that??". I said "huh!" He explained, "it was so beautiful that... . The word 'so' expects a part that starts with 'that'". Oh! And he was actually waiting for me to answer. I changed and said that it was very beautiful :-)

Five years gone in a blink of an eye!


I still belong to the old school localites who prefer to call the present Chennai - "Madras" and derive great pleasure in letting the letters roll off my tongue, tilting my head a little with pride and of course showing off a bit :-)

My short stint of 5 years is not much when compared to my earlier 25 years before marriage. Yet, this was the most enjoyable time I had spent in Madras. Is it the town? Is it the people? Is it the music? Maybe a mix of everything... This was there before too! But now, the only difference is my husband.. He made my stay here sweeter even he was not around most of the time. Now that sounds pretty cheesy ;-)

Date: 2nd October 2013
I have had some time now to review and compare Madras with San Jose. As my son keeps asking me, "you said we are going to US! This feels like Madras, just better." I did not know it then but now I feel it was like being under a microscope always, not that anybody cared about what I did. I…


What is Bhakti? It can be generally translated as devotion and Webster gives 'religious fervour' as its meaning. Does this mean that atheists cannot have devotion? How can explain this to different people from different walks of life? Most of all, how can we explain this to children who are influenced by what their parents think?

Theists - It is very easy to reach out to theists and say: devotion or bhakti is that belief that you have in God which directs certain actions (puja, prayers etc) in your everyday living.

Atheists - One has to leave out God equation and explain devotion in terms of concentration on activities close to one's heart.

Children - Now this is the tricky part. Children are always forever trying to assess what to take forward to their adult years. Some children don't want to believe in God because their parents don't believe and their acceptance is of utmost importance. Some children implicitly believe what their parents say. Yet others are skeptica…

Life moves on

A long gap of more than year in my posts... yet, life moves on at a pace that is baffling at times. Lots have happened in this year.
I stopped posting when I sent my younger one to school!! Okay, that sounds actually weird when I put it down in writing. Why?? I should have actually had more time to post more frequently... and yet I did not!
Ah! I found a better use of my time :-) And what was that?
SURFING THE NET.Reading blogsReading recipe blogsUpdating my sanskrit blog on and off (advantages of having a co-writer)
Most of all, PLAYING FARMVILLE, FISHVILLE, TREASUREVILLE and all the nonsensevilles that I can lay my hands on. I sat before the idiot box with a laptop on my lap and reclining on my recliner (with an ottoman... without it the recliner is an utter waste). I definitely, definitely have to, definitely have to scrap no. 5 from the list, definitely. But these zynga and facebook guys keep dishing out newer games to get us hooked on to.

Time, the culprit

6.50 am Hari wakes up and says "I want the computer". Hey! first brush your teeth, then take a bath, then eat breakfast and then if you have time, we'll see.

For about half an hour I don't hear anything and I am busy getting breakfast and lunch ready. Suddenly I look at the time...

7.20 am HARI!!! WHERE ARE YOU?? YOU OUGHT TO BE AT THE TABLE NOW. OK MOM! Let me finish bathing.

I am at my wits end. I shout at the top of my voice in an effort to get something across. "Its going to be 7.30 and you have to leave at 7.50 am".

7.22 am Dad shows his face inside the bathroom and asks hari, "why are you making your mom shout?"

PAT came a reply, "I am not making mom shout. Its the time!"

Career problems for a 6 yr old

Not one morning passes by without Hari's polambals. He has to say atleast 23 times "I don't want to go school". These would be followed by lectures on
1. Its good for you
2. You don't want to be illiterate. Do you?
3. Don't you want to be a tech director like appa?
4. You have to do some work or the other to survive.
etc.. etc..

My next strategy was - "you have to look after cows." I was stunned when he said ok. Thats where Bala came in and dropped the right sentence "looking after cows means cleaning cowdung too!!" "oops" That was something my 6 year old could not imagine. The bum-cleaning is mommy's job. How can he do that? Okay, Mom, lets make a deal. I will take care of the cows, but the cleaning part, why don't you do it as always?

When that did not get any response from me, hari decided he will work at home like his mom. WOW! somebody wants to be like me! Thats something, coming from Hari who adores his dad! Now how do I t…